Light Reading
Apple is advertising for more voice-over-LTE help as Apple and Verizon finally get into launch mode with 4G voice services.

Apple Eyes VoLTE as 4G Voice Gets Real

Dan Jones
8/20/2014
50%
50%

Apple appears to be gearing up for high-definition voice-over-LTE (HD VoLTE) support in future mobile products

The company is currently advertising for a cellular systems protocol engineer, calling for experience with "VoLTE" and "IMS." Other positions are calling for experience with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocol.

VoLTE uses SIP to initiate the 4G calls, which are transmitted in data packets, with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) in the core network controlling the call session. There's a useful primer on how this all works here.

Apple is also looking for a senior baseband engineer to work on "cutting-edge" audio for its devices, which will include the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech compression codec, which is part of the VoLTE specification. The engineer will help to "implement, port, and deploy AMR-WB, AMR-NB, CELP, EVRC-B, EVRC, EVS Vocoders, and Jitter Buffers on Mobile devices," according to the ad.


Keep up with all the VoLTE news on our dedicated channel here on Light Reading.


The VoLTE timing could make sense for the iPhone 6, which is expected to be unveiled in September, since Apple's largest US carrier partners are launching limited service now or are expected to go live with VoLTE on their networks later this year.

"We will be launching VoLTE very soon here toward the tail end of this year," Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo said earlier in August. (See Verizon VoLTE Testing Spotted.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has VoLTE up in parts of four states in the US. (See T-Mobile Beats AT&T, Verizon to VoLTE.)

Of the four largest US carriers, only T-Mobile US Inc. has HD VoLTE available across its network. (See T-Mobile Expands VoLTE, Gets Going with 700MHz 4G.)

So far, 66 service providers spanning 35 countries have invested in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, with 10 operators in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the US having actually launched an HD VoLTE service. (See VoLTE Gains Velocity: GSA.)

VoLTE specialists Mavenir Systems Inc. recently stated that there are 92 VoLTE-capable devices on the market now, some of which will require a software upgrade to use the technology. "Apple has rumored that iPhone 6 and iOS 8 might both support VoLTE," said Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli on an earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "This will be the first Apple phone to support VoLTE, and its introduction this fall is expected to further the progress of VoLTE."

Apple typically doesn't reveal new features of its devices ahead of launch.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 6:19:24 PM
Does 4 people really count as a line?
Supposedly people are starting to line up at the Apple store ahead of the expected iPhone 6 launch:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/03/line-forms-at-5th-ave-apple-store-6-days-ahead-of-expected-iphone-announcement
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 6:38:28 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
We should -- eventually -- be back to 90s landline standards and perhaps better with HD-LTE on AMR-WB! It's available on some devices on T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile calls now and what I've heard of the quality is really good.

Going to be interesting to see how it works between carrier networks though -- eventually!
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:39:22 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
Voice quality on mobile phone calls are in need of an upgrade. I believe that carriers have been laser-focused on keeping up with data demand, to the comic detriment of voice quality.

It's good to see that this is now going to change. 
billsblots
50%
50%
billsblots,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/21/2014 | 4:12:18 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
When I clicked "comment" I didn't see a box to type in, so I'll use reply.

Here in Richmond, VA, downtown, the Verizon LTE throughput is horribly bad, normally less than 1 MBps and can never stream any video, and frequently even an audio stream is tough to get started.  As a daily ritual I disable "LTE" on my Verizon devices when I come to work so at least they can chug along a little better in 3G.  Great advertising slogan, "Verizon Wireless, where our 3G is better than our 4G".

I must say outside of the downtown area the VZW LTE is quite a bit better, but nowhere what I've seen in Orange County, CA, and other major metro areas.

So I can imagine trying to pour voice over the same bandwidths and network that is already choked so badly in this area.  Cell phone audio quality is typically bad compared to the very high product we had achieved on land line phones by the 90s, where there was rarely even any pinging, echo, or noticeable delay in trans-Atlantic calls.  But that is the price we pay for mobility and convenience.  But think of this, there are teenagers running around who have never used a landline phone because it was discontinued at home in 2000 and think that all telephone voice service has always been crappy!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 9:53:25 AM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
You mean LTE-A or VoLTE is for 2015+? Or both?
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 8:41:32 AM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
 

"This is most likley for the 2015+"

Agreed. Many Euro operators plan to have launched VoLTE by next summer so that *if* the 2015 iPhone suports it, they'll be ready. That's the basic timeline that nearly everyone is working on. This driving a lot of activity because of the fear you'll get left behind and out-marketed by competitors.

The voice-over-WiFi capability supposedly coming in this year's iPhone is viewed as a pre-cursor to VoLTE.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/20/2014 | 5:41:37 PM
LTE-Advanced & Apple
Interestingly I couldn't find any mention of LTE-Advanced in the job ads. Not even hidden as the E-UTRA air inteference.

 

 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.